E-commerce travel specialist Online Travel Group has confirmed it has gone into administration, with the loss of 20 staff - 16 based at the group’s call centre in Leeds and the remainder at its London HQ.
The group operated a number of online booking sites including WorldSki.com, Worldtravellers.com and Cheap4travel.com.Its administrator Leonard Curtis said in a statement: “It is apparent from our brief investigation that the company had run out of options.”
“We understand that credit terms had been drastically shortened by key trading partners and this, combined with the credit crunch and general economic downturn, led to a dramatic cutback in consumer spending on all but the essentials.”
The company says ferry bookings where passengers have already travelled are largely unaffected, while forward bookings are mostly being honoured by ferry operators under their agency agreements.
However a number of customers have said they have been high and dry several weeks before the company went into administration.
Complaints include customers booking and being charged for ferry tickets by OTG, only to arrive at the port to be told by P&O that they would have to pay again in order to travel, as OTG had failed to pay P&O. When they later tried to claim the money back, OTG disowned responsiblity saying that P&O was in breech of contract. OTG also chose not to inform customers that P&O had stopped honouring its booking since 5 September, leaving them to find out at arrival at the port.